“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire, French Philosopher and Writer (1694-1778)
Early each February (if not sooner for retail reasons!) Saint Valentine is brought to life in many forms from cards to candy, but what about when images, figures and holiday happenings are not present? Do we stop giving of ourselves to others, and lose a little of that holiday love that is generated so generously around February 14th?
Without the cutout hearts, greeting cards and wonderful chocolates to share, we are left with just us, raw and unsure, busy and baffled, appreciative and awkward. It’s okay, though, as many of you have heard me say (or read in my writings) in the past, very few (if any) people we know are overwhelmed, and simply too full of love and appreciation each day.
If you think you are unsure of what to say or how to say it, kindly:
~ Start with sincerity and a smile
~ Continue with telling, writing or selecting a card that denotes your feelings
~ Make the message or comment about him or her, and not you
~ Let the person know what you love or appreciate about him/her or his/her efforts
~ Move on so the situation is not odd for that person
An example of this is (see the smile and hear the sincerity, please) “Andy, your approach with the client was nothing less than spot-on. I appreciate the way you get to know each person with whom you interact. Thank you for making a difference for the company in your relationship-building! What else is on your agenda for us to cover?”. This example allows Andy to say his thank you and keep going, or if Andy is really comfortable receiving praise, he can make some other comments as well. Either way, it is a success for Andy.
As for you, you won’t fail or even flail. You’ll likely be a huge hit. You may receive an “oh, you don’t have to say that”, or a “really???”. Let it be. I’d hope for etiquette’s sake you’ll get a “thank you”, but we give sincere recognition comments selflessly in anticipation of nothing in return (the same for gifts). After all, the appreciation and love you share is meant to be expressed and stated… how else will you keep the St. Valentine spirit alive all year long?